Coal India overtakes ONGC to become richest PSU

Some six months after getting listed on the bourses, Coal India Ltd has surpassed Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) to become the country's most valuable state-owned company, with a market capitalisation of Rs2.5 lakh crore.

Kolkata-based Coal India is now the second most valuable firm in the country after Reliance Industries, which has a market cap of Rs3.01 lakh crore, according to Bombay Stock Exchange data.

Thus India's top three companies in value are now RIL, Coal India with Rs2.5 lakh crore and ONGC with a market cap of Rs2.37 lakh crore.

Since debuting at fifth spot on the bourses on the eve of Diwali Day after a successful initial public offering, the stock of the coal mining giant has gained 62 per cent from its IPO price of Rs245 to its current close at Rs396 on the BSE.

The performance of Coal India is all the more outstanding compared with RIL and ONGC, and also with other benchmark indices. Since 21 October, the day the Coal India IPO closed, ONGC stock has lost 18 per cent and RIL 15 per cent. Similarly, sensex is down 10 per cent and the Nifty of the National Stock Exchange is down 11 per cent during the period.

In terms of free float market cap, the method that BSE's index committee follows to determine the weight of a stock in most of its indices, Coal India stands 21st among the current constituents of the Sensex. While calculating the weight of a stock in an index, the free float methodology considers the non-promoter holding in a company, and assigns a weight to its market cap based on this. 

At Tuesday's close, Coal India had a free float market cap of Rs25,400 crore, compared to Rs47,500 crore for ONGC. This is because the government holding in ONGC is 74.1 per cent, while in Coal India it is 90 per cent.